Of Gods and men

Its finally time for my second post. Couldn’t let Ulysses have all the fun!!!

And straightway music and singing beguile the immortals.
All the Muses together, voice answering heavenly voice, Hymn the undying gifts of the gods and the sufferings of men, Who, enduring so much at the hands of the gods everlasting, Live heedless and helpless, unable to find for themselves Either a cure for death or a bulwark against old age. –Homeric Hymn to Apollo 3.188-192

This past few days one of the major news story seems to about cartoons. You wouldn’t figure out how much some damage some cartoons can cause. I have seen some tasteless cartoons but this seems to have really caused a nuclear explosion. Though this doesn’t seem to be an instant explosion but a slow reacting one as the timeline suggests.

For those of you who have been out of this world for the last few days, this is all about cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed that appeared in some Danish dailies. I was going to link to a different site, but apparently the guy decided to take it off ’cause of quite a number of threats he received (As a side note, if somebody needs a death treat it is this person) And for those of you who don’t know, a portrait of the prophet is a sacrilege to a Muslim (I know because my friend dates one).

It would have gone below the radar(who cares about the Danes!) had not a Norwegian paper reprinted it. And from being a news article it became a fight between religious sensitivity and the freedom of expression, ultimately turning into a Arab world versus the west.

Freedom of expression, like any freedom is not absolute in its boundaries. I have been mad by a lot of things that have been done using it. Some thing that really pissed me off was the
last temptation of Christ
. I was so mad at the director who decided to make it and all the people who were involved in it, and I cheered when it bombed at the box office. But one day as I was discussing with some friends about some of the difficulties faced by Christians in some communist and middle eastern countries, it just dawned on me just how one sided I had been. Sure enough I was mad at the people but then that is democracy for good or for bad.

If I were to declare war on all people who did not hold my belief (Just like the church did in the middle ages), I have no reason to live in a democracy, might as well as live in a theocracy. Being born in this culture, I am more predisposed to be take it in its stride than somebody from a totally different belief system. I am also less likely to be militant about my religious believes than somebody from the east (Most of us just worship money!), and that is when it gets out of hand.

This controversy is as much about the freedom of expression as it is about plain common sense. I am all for freedom, but isn’t there something called overkill? The media is as much to blame for this as anybody else in this. The other thing that really is funny to me is how people in so many different places of the world have taken it upon themselves to show their anger even though they had more pressing and important matters at hand.

Looks like the European papers are not taking it lying down (They don’t care able their circulation in the middle east) atleast for now. They maybe stoking the fire or getting their revenge for restrictions that the church put on them during the middle ages. Maybe its time that the religiously convicted lived with the fact that they can’t just kill the detractors.

So what is my take on this … just get on with life and live your own faith, without forcing somebody else to live yours!! If I wanted to issue fatwas then I have a long list in my hand, unfortunately so do the people that I want to issue those fatwas against.

I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it. –Voltaire


5 thoughts on “Of Gods and men

  1. Laurence

    The amount of traffic to the site was starting to impact the server despite some caching workaround.

    Since I was launching a new catblog that depended on the photograllery on the site, my priority has always been catblogging. ATP goes bye-bye.

    I’m sure they’re cached in Google somewhere. Let Google deal with the load.

  2. NoViCe

    Well now we know he didn’t get cowed down!

    CrackerJack, I am all for freedom, but don’t you think that freedom brings with it some responsibility? I am starteng to see a lot of irresponsible freemdom in the most free of places 😉

  3. Crackerjack

    What did the newspapers do? The guy just wanted an illustration for his children’s books. If the fourth estate does not take a stand who will? Can we just give in to threats? Would you agree with the bombing of abortion clinics ???

  4. Boss

    To all of you trying to answer “what ifs”….When you and I came into this world, we came butt naked..Two people cried – one, your mother, and the other, yourself (if you didn’t cry, the doctor, midwife, whoever helped your mother at that time, butt whipped you so you would cry..don’t worry they know what they are doing)..the rest of the world (Dad, and extended relatives) clapped their hands, slapped shoulders, distributed sweets and said congratulations to the proud parents..When you die, most probably you have outlived your parents by then..you don’t cry, you have no more sense but if you have lived a good life, done good things, loved many folks and had few enemies, the world will stand in silence and shed some tears, world leaders will stand in rapt attention listening to eulogies o you..Heaven will be rejoicing welcoming one more soul to its company..So what if, you die tommorrow, are you upward bound? Seasons come and seasons go..every year seems to go much faster than the previous year..yet, they say it is the same number of days and weeks (except for the leap year) and the same time in a day…so what if, eternity is just a reality in a soul’s life and that there is sense of time like we know it now..how would you soul live?

    Except ye be born again, is there hope? No man can serve two masters, either he hates one and loves the other? So what if? The Greatest Teacher, The Wisest King, The Son of God himself lived to die to tell us a simple truth and we missed the point living life here on this earth…

    Faith, Hope, and Love..the greatest of these is Love..Faith comes by hearing the word of God, Hope comes from that knowledge of knowing what God has already prepared for us who are called His sons and daugthers, and Love..yeah..love your neighbor as yourself..God is a spirit and he resides in the hearts and mind of each and every human person (remember we were made in His image)..Look yourself in the mirror..whose image do you bear? You will know the sons and daughters of the Most High by the fruits they bear..A good tree always bear good fruit..Plant a lemon, you will eat lemons..you don’t eat apples do you? so what if?….endless arguments, discussions, debates, conferences don’t get others to your point..Would you be willing to change yourself first..Ask not what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country..Ask not what your neighbor can do for you, ask what you can do for your neighbor..be a servant first, you will become a master and a good one too one of these days..Love and Peace…you can never beat that combination anytime now or ever..They are both representatives of God Himself..


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